Sexuality and the State

A Would-Be Trans And Queer Haven In Rural Colorado Just Wants To Be Left Alone

By Dan Boyce, NPR

There’s a 6-foot-tall fence going up around the Tenacious Unicorn Ranch in rural Custer County, Colo. The people who live there say they need it because they’ve been the target of harassment since they relocated the trans-friendly ranch there in 2020.

The perimeter fence will add security to the ranch, which also has newly installed security cameras. There’s a tension on the property, so much so that co-owner Penny Logue and fellow owner Bonnie Nelson, both transgender women, carry pistols at all times. One wall of the communal geodesic-dome ranch house is stocked with various assault weapons.

“There’s some degree where we want that [militaristic] perspective,” Nelson said. “All we want is to be left alone.”

The 40-acre property, apart from its status as a working sheep and alpaca ranch, also serves as a “trans and queer haven” southeast of the small mountain town of Westcliffe. Nine people live on the site currently, less than half of the planned occupancy long term. Logue and Nelson hope to build a sustainable and scalable business not only through selling their agricultural products; they also want to one day establish properties in multiple rural places where trans people can feel safe, welcome and isolated from the discrimination they say they face in the traditional, cisgender world.


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